Baxter & Woodman Focuses on Automation at Scale with Deltek Unionpoint

January 09, 2024

Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers is a forward-thinking civil engineering firm focused on building community value through clean water, safe roads, and reliable wastewater treatment. Over the past several years, the business has almost doubled in size, mostly due to strategic acquisitions and strong client relations.

“We've rapidly been growing and trying to keep up with it, but there are some challenges with that,” explained Tom Melone, staff accountant and system administrator at Baxter & Woodman.

A long-time customer, Baxter & Woodman upgraded to Deltek Vantagepoint earlier this year and has been using the all-in-one solution to streamline project management, track project statuses, and monitor performance.

After the most recent acquisition, Baxter & Woodman needed to merge and streamline various processes and workflows. However, challenges arose when some departments wanted to maintain existing technology.

“As we continued growing, we had a branch of our company that loved a specific CRM and they didn’t want to change. So, they continued using it, but this required manually copying and pasting data to Vantagepoint for projects and financials,” Tom explained. “It got us thinking – data entry is a waste of time, so if we can’t convince them to move to a single system, how can we improve [this process] for everyone?”

Before this season of growth, most of Baxter & Woodman’s workflows were easily managed within Vantagepoint, so focusing on integrations hadn’t been a priority. With their expansion, however, company leadership realized the importance of integrating systems and reducing manual data entry.

Opening the Door to Connectivity

When considering options and the approach that would best suit their needs, Baxter & Woodman wanted to put the power of building and managing integrations into their employees' hands rather than waiting for IT consultants to change proprietary integrations.

And that’s where Deltek Unionpoint came into play. Deltek Unionpoint is a cloud-based integration platform that helps users more easily build, deploy, and manage key integrations and workflows.

Tom heard about Deltek Unionpoint at a Deltek Architecture and Engineering (A&E) Community Day event in 2022 and again at Deltek ProjectCon 2022 in Nashville.

Deltek Unionpoint accelerates building critical integrations between applications by leveraging a library of connectors and recipe templates that allow users to get up and running more quickly and at a lower cost.

With a robust yet easy-to-use platform that doesn’t require complex coding, users of Deltek Unionpoint can more easily build integrations and automate workflows that streamline everyday processes while maintaining data integrity and increasing productivity and engagement.

Tom said Deltek Unionpoint allowed the company to bring the critical capability of building integrations in-house while having “more control and ease of access.” It was also important to the firm that the integration platform was managed and supported by Deltek.

“It was a big decision factor that Unionpoint was Deltek supported, and we knew it integrated very nicely with other Deltek products. Plus, we knew if we had any questions, we had Deltek Support, so we never looked too far into other integration options,” Tom explained.

Automating Key Workflows to Support the Business

Within three months of starting their integration journey with Deltek Unionpoint, Baxter & Woodman experienced measurable impacts.

Tom, who took on the role of owning and building integrations on the platform, has already built, tested, and deployed an integration between Vantagepoint and HubSpot CRM, as well as several workflow automations within the Deltek ERP.

One of the first automations he tackled was creating a recipe that would ensure project consistency within Vantagepoint. For every project created, the firm requires a set work breakdown structure (WBS) with specific task numbers. Employees consistently made errors in the title or numbers, and Tom spent hours correcting hundreds of records each week.

So, he built an automation with Unionpoint to automatically add the WBS structure to the project, eliminating manual work and potential human error.

“Now I know every project is always right, and I don’t have to think about it,” Tom said.

He then took this automation a step further, creating a project template within Unionpoint that could be utilized in both Vantagepoint and HubSpot—creating consistency within the two systems. The integration ensures any changes made to an opportunity in HubSpot CRM trigger an automatic update to the corresponding Vantagepoint project.

So far, he says people have been thrilled with how Unionpoint and the integrations he’s built have positively impacted their jobs.

“We've heard lots of good feedback and people are very happy,” Tom said, explaining that these automations have eliminated hours of work each week for people who were having to transfer data between the systems. “That's all automated now, so they can focus more on client interactions rather than copying and pasting data,” he continued.

According to Tom, Unionpoint has also allowed employees to focus on more value-added work. “In a short amount of time, we have been able to see a higher overall company utilization because employees can spend more time on billable projects and out in the field rather than in the system,” he said.

Tom said the company has been strategically tackling integration projects, completing one integration and testing its impact before moving on to other use cases— helping to ensure their overall success.

It’s important to note that despite his success with Unionpoint, Tom is not a developer by training. He’s an accountant by trade, but he shifted to handling operations and workflows for his company after starting there three years ago. Tom said his base SQL knowledge and understanding of stored procedures in Vantagepoint have served him well when defining and building recipes.

“I don’t have formal or in-depth training, so it’s been learning-as-I-go knowledge. Unionpoint is very user-friendly, and I’ve been able to build integrations easily,” Tom said.

Tom also shared that the Deltek training videos and recipe examples along with Workato’s Free Automation Institute have been very helpful as well as the Vantagepoint Product Connector and community library, which allowed him to dive into the platform and begin building quickly.

Integrating Existing Systems to Streamline Processes

Tom also set out to improve efficiency and data integrity for his project managers. Before Unionpoint, project managers would receive an email asking them to update or add missing information to projects. These reminders were often ignored because the project managers were out in the field and didn’t have time to log in to Vantagepoint to find the fields in question and make updates.

To make it easier for the project managers, Tom is building a workflow automation that will send a Microsoft Teams message requesting the information. The project manager will then be able to use an easy dropdown to select the missing information quickly. Unionpoint will send the information back through Teams, which will be updated automatically in Vantagepoint.

While this wasn’t one of the original use cases the company had identified when purchasing the iPaaS solution, Tom has discovered—and continues to find—additional ways to use Unionpoint to further support his teams.

“Unionpoint has so many capabilities and it’s very easy to use,” Tom said. “So, for others considering it, think about some of the bottlenecks in your business. If the process breaks down from Manual User entry or time delays, Unionpoint may be able to help.”

Building a better future with Unionpoint

Tom said he’s excited about future possibilities with Unionpoint, especially considering he’s already uncovered additional use cases simply by opening a blank recipe screen within the platform and creatively exploring what he could improve within his company.

“For me personally, I'm trying to rethink the way we’re doing things and how we can change what we're doing now that we have additional technology,” explained Tom. He said there have been process improvements that employees have desired in the past that simply weren’t possible then, but now they can re-evaluate those items based on Unionpoint’s capabilities.


About Baxter & Woodman

Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers is a forward-thinking civil engineering firm focused on building community value through clean water, safe roads, and reliable wastewater treatment. They provide engineering and technology services, striving to make a difference through helping others. They have been serving clients for more than 75 years and have 14 office locations nationwide. Baxter & Woodman is focused, committed, and service oriented. They are focused on engineering, technical, and management solutions that shape and enhance our world. They are dedicated to improving quality of life and providing smart infrastructure solutions that leave a positive impact on people, communities, and the environment. Their client-focused culture centers around exceeding expectations with responsive, reliable service resulting in an exceptional experience every time.